Macro- and microorganizational perspectives on strategy processes are typically treated as distinct lines of inquiry. This paper proposes an attention-based theory (March & Olsen, 1976; Ocasio, 1997) of strategy formulation processes to bridge both perspectives. In particular, it links evolutionary perspectives on strategy (Burgelman, 1991, 2002) and strategic choice (Child, 1972) perspectives on organizational and strategic decision making (Bower, 1970; Carter, 1971; Cyert & March, 1963; Frederickson, 1986). Our treatment of the strategy process extends theory by viewing strategy processes as assemblages of tightly and loosely coupled networks of operational and governance channels (Allison & Zelikow, 1999; Ocasio, 1997), strategy formulation as a fluid and distributed process, and environmental, organizational level and individual level forces as consequential. Like Lovas and Ghoshal (2000), we view strategy formulation as a process of guided evolution. Unlike Lovas and Ghoshal who view strategic intent as the objective function that guides evolution, we view strategy formulation processes as more fragmented and contested, with multiple foci of attention, rather than an explicit objective function, and both top-down and bottoms-up processes capable of generating changes in the strategic direction of the firm.
Ocasio, W. and Joseph, J. (2005), "An Attention-Based Theory of Strategy Formulation: Linking Micro- and Macroperspectives in Strategy Processes", Szulanski, G., Porac, J. and Doz, Y. (Ed.) Strategy Process (Advances in Strategic Management, Vol. 22), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 39-61. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0742-3322(05)22002-8Download as .RIS
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